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Google and Facebook on course to take two thirds of UK online display advertising

By Dominic Ponsford

Google and Facebook currently account for half the UK online display advertising market and will soon take two thirds, according to a new report.

Marketing consultants OC&C estimate that this year the two digital giants hoovered up 53 per cent of the UK’s £4bn online display advertising market. And they have predicted that their share will increase to two thirds by 2020.

According to OC&C: “The two technology giants will play a critical role in the dissemination of these adverts in future, controlling how and when ads are served, and to whom.”

OC&C partner Fergus Jarvis said: “Google and Facebook provide unique tools which allow marketers to reach and target customers in new and innovative ways. As these tools become more precise, and their audience continues to grow, CMOs are increasingly seeing the benefit of highly measurable and targeted campaigns.

“As a result, Facebook and Google’s command of the online advertising market is not a matter of if, but when.”

The report predicts that next year next year time spent consuming media on mobile phones will exceed TV for the first time, with an average of 3.2 hours per day (versus 3.1 hours for TV).

Jarvis said: “Facebook and Google are increasingly at the centre of all content consumed on a mobile and can provide quite remarkable reach to advertisers as a result.

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“With Facebook and Google not only able to drive traffic, but also able to identify that traffic and monetise it, publishers need to find ways of collaborating and innovating to keep up. In order to compete, media companies need to build out a better view of their customers and aim to provide better targeting to marketers directly than they can get through Facebook or Google.”

The latest data comes as publishers become increasingly concerned about the extent to which the two media giants are using journalistic material but not sharing the revenue.

Yesterday a report by the News Media Association found that national and local newspaper publishers provide most of the investment in newsgathering in the UK – but receive a much smaller proportion of the revenue made from that content.

NMA vice chairman and chief operating officer of News UK David Dinsmore said: “Urgent action must be taken to ensure that news media publishers’ ability to fund the original agenda-setting news and information our readers want us to produce is not fatally undermined by third parties who gain so much from our investment while contributing very little.”

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